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Israel 40, Us 18, Randi 16, U.s. 14, Michigan 12, Washington 7, Myanmar 7, Benghazi 7, Cnn 6, United States 6, America 6, Cambodia 5, Thailand 5, Hamas 4, Mahmoud 4, Gordon 4, Garth 4, Asia 4, Sidner 4, Randi Kaye 3,
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  CNN    CNN Saturday Morning    News  News/Business. News, sports,  
   weather and entertainment news. New.  

    November 17, 2012
    8:00 - 9:30am EST  

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>> thanks for starting your morning with us. we've got much more ahead on cnn "saturday morning" which starts right now. good morning, everyone. i'm randi kaye. victor blackwell is on assignment. it is 8:00 on the east coast, 5:00 out west. thanks so much for starting your day with us. we start in the middle east. this has become a fairly common sight in gaza this week. israeli planes have been carrying out air strikes over gaza since wednesday. meanwhile militants on the other side have fired more than 200 rockets into israel. israel is massing troops near the border with gaza. they have got 30,000 troops there now and have 75,000 reservists getting ready. at least 42 people have died since the operation began. meanwhile, world leaders including representatives from the united states and the u.n. are calling on both sides to show restraint, but restraint
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seems to be in short order right now. our sarah sidner is live in gaza with a bird's eye view of the conflict. are you seeing more air strikes right now? >> reporter: absolutely, and in just the past few minutes we could hear the loud blasts of air strikes all night long into morning, 6:00 or 7:00 in the morning, blast after blast after blast and could look into the sky and see rockets coming from here in gaza city into israel. i want to show you a picture that our photographer dan morgan was able to take last night around 3:30 in the morning. he's pointing his camera towards what was the police headquarters. hamas police headquarters when he saw this picture. it was a big blast and then a big ball of fire. now, i want to show you what's happened since then. the result of that air strike. i'm going to move out of the way here. we are about 11 stories up looking down on the main part of gaza.
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you are hearing now some of the traffic. there's only been a few cars, but it's a bit loud up here. i want to let you see the result of that blast. you're seeing the smouldering rubble there from the air strike last night on the police headquarters. we also know that another huge hamas building has been hit today, and can you see that building destroyed. half of it is standing, half of it collapsed. a very scary day for civilians as well. we are not seeing almost anybody in the streets. we were at the hospital overnight, and we saw quite a few people coming in there. again, the death toll now at 39 here, and we're talking about more than 250 people who have been injured by all this. >> how are they actually preparing there for the possibility of israeli troops coming in? >> reporter: well, because the militants and the government here, the ham yags government tries to keep some of their weapons really in secret and not
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really letting people get close to them, it's really hard to tell. you're not seeing any action in the streets, so to speak, but you seeing the rockets in the sky going over israel. you see the telltale sign that a rocket has gone into the sky because you see the smoke from it. what we do know is civilians are scared. they are scared of the idea that they will see troops on the ground here. the last time that happened was in 2008 and 2009 during israel's operation, and during that operation hundreds of people ended up dying here. israel has been saying time and again that it is trying to do very targeted air strikes, and we know that that is the case because we're listening to drones in the sky. if you've ever seen the drones and what they can do, it's absolutely amazing how close of a picture they can get. they can see people actually in the street and walking and get details, for example, even of a license plate, that's how good they are, but in some of these strikes we know civilians have been killed and injured. we also know that members of hamas and its leadership have also been killed.
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randi. >> sara sidner in gaza for us this morning. sara, be safe. thank you. cnn's frederick pleitgen is on the southern side. you've been seeing israeli troops massing there. >> reporter: yeah. we've been seeing israeli troops massing. in the past less than an hour ago, a column of israeli vehicles come past our position. you're seeing in the border area, fairly close to us as well. what's also going on is we've seen an increased number of rocket attacks coming out of gaza, rocket and mortar attacks. one particular barrage that went straight over our heads and then was intercepted about 300 meters over our heads by an interceptor system that the israelis have which is called the iron dome, so that's been going on for the past 30 minutes or so, i would say. we've been forced to take cover a couple of times. again, theisly, we see more and more troops amassing here.
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seen a lot of tanks coming into the area and armored personnel carriers and bulldozers collecting at collection points, of course, awaiting the order to go into gaza if that is what the israeli government decides. randi? >> any sense, is a ground invasion looking more likely? >> reporter: that's a very good question. you know, i posed that question to a spokesperson for the defense minister, and he said at this point in time he's not willing to comment on military options on the table and also not on military planning as well. what the israelis have been saying is that the option of a ground invasion is on the table, and that it is something that they are very much willing to do, if they feel that they are not achieving their objectives with these air strikes that they are conduct alone. of course, the objectives that the israelis have set out is to silence the rockets coming out of gaza, and so far what we're seeing is a lot of rockets coming out of gaza. four in particular hit a
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kindergarten, and in return we're seeing more israeli air strikes. how long that's going to go on and whether they will launch an operation is unclear, but it certainly seems by the hour the israelis are getting more ready to go into gaza if they feel that they have to, randi. >> and the u.s. and other nations certainly have been urging both sides to show restraint. are you getting the sense at all that it's escalating action instead? >> reporter: i would say from the view that we have down here that it's escalating though at a slower pace than it did at the beginning. as you'll remember this, conflict began when the israelis struck a senior hamas military wing leader, and since then you've had these air strikes. they have escalated, especially during the course of friday. right now it's sort of reached a level where it's pretty high intensity pretty much throughout the entire day. i wouldn't say escalating a lot but still escalating. one of the other things, of course, a telltale sign of an
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escalation is more and more israeli troops coming in here as well. one of the things that we can say is that there certainly isn't any deescalation and certainly neither of the two sides seem to be willing to take their foot off the gas at this point in time, randi. >> frederik pleitgen in southern israel for us, fred, thank you. we want to show you some live pictures right now. president obama, we told you, is departing for his first overseas trip since winning the election. live pictures here from andrews air force base in maryland. can you see marine one there carrying the president, taxying over towards air force one. the president will be spending a few days in asia. he'll be visiting thailand. he'll be visiting myanmar, and then he will go on to cambodia. on tuesday he will be departing cambodia and heading back to washington. the president will also meet with leaders from japan and china. this will actually be a first for a u.s. president when speaking in terms of his visit
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to myanmar which is also known as burma, so there you have it. we'll see the president departing shortly here for his trip to asia. we'll continue to watch these live pictures this morning for you. back in washington, it seems a deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff may happen before january. president obama met yesterday with the four top leaders of congress. republicans john boehner and mitch mcconnell and democrats nancy pelosi and harry reid. >> we had a very constructive meeting with the president to talk about america's fiscal problem. >> we all know something has to be done. >> it was good. i feel confident that a solution may be in sight. >> we're prepared to put revenue on the table, provided we fix the real problem. >> tax hikes and spending cuts could go into effect simultaneously if no deal is reached on the fiscal cliff by the end of the year, both sides have said they are willing to compromise. house speaker boehner says
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republicans realize that neither side will get everything it wants. exactly one week after he abruptly resigned as head of the cia, david petraeus was back on capitol hill. he met yesterday behind closed doors to brief lawmakers on the september 11th attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi. according to lawmakers who were there, petraeus now says the attack was an act of terrorism and not the result of a spontaneous anti-western demonstration as initially reported. four americans died in the benghazi incident, including u.s. abz christopher stevens. we've got much more ahead this hour. here's a look at what's coming up. battling over benghazi. lawmakers are furious. the president is standing his ground, and there is still no one in custody. all morning we're putting the conflict and the players in focus. on the brinks of war as
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fighting escalates between israel and hamas. experts say there will likely be a lot more bloodshed before the violence stops. and a michigan law struck down. why judges ruled a ban on affirmative action unconstitutional and how the state is prepared to fight all the way to the supreme court. if you are one of the millions of men who have used androgel 1%, there's big news. presenting androgel 1.62%. both are used to treat men with low testosterone. androgel 1.62% is from the makers of the number one prescribed testosterone replacement therapy. it raises your testosterone levels, and... is concentrated, so you could use less gel. and with androgel 1.62%, you can save on your monthly prescription. [ male announcer ] dosing and application sites between these products differ. women and children should avoid contact with application sites.
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and once again we want to show you here, there's the president getting ready for his trip to asia, walking down the steps there of marine one at andrews air force base, and he'll be getting ready to climb up. it happened just moments ago to climb up air force one to take him on his trip. he'll be visiting thailand, myanmar, formerly known as burma and cambodia. as you know, he's leaving right in the middle of a whole lot of
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chaos. middle east, fighting escalating in gaza on the border there with israel. also have the benghazi situation, the hearings there happening in washington, the situation of trying to figure out who knew what when and the whole debate over terrorists and talking points, so the president i'm sure will be keeping up to speed on exactly what's happening on those two situations. we have reporters traveling with him, of course, and we will continue to keep you up to date as well. now these are live pictures of air force one as the president gets ready to depart for asia through tuesday of next week. the battle over benghazi. we're putting in focus this morning as lawmakers try to figure out what the obama administration knew when. the administration came under fire in the immediate days after the attack for blaming it on that anti-islam video. we've since learned that it was an act of terrorism, but what are the reasonable expectations of fast intel in a case like this retired brigadier general mark kimmet joins me now from washington.
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we live in a society, general, where we're used to getting information instantly, has twitter, facebook, pdas spoiled us that even when information on a national security issue is incomplete or delayed? i mean, there is an uproar. >> well, there may be that expectation, and i think the government needs to be very, very careful as we've seen in this incident of getting out in front of the story, getting out in front of the facts there. has to be some wisdom and maturity before you make pronouncements of national security importance before all the facts are known. >> but in terms of pressure, i mean, what kind of pressure is put on washington for some quick answers? >> well, there's a lot of pressure being put on by the press, but that's what we pay our government to do, take a deep breath, think your way through the issue, think about all the ramifications. just because the press is clamoring for the story, doesn't mean you need to put out a story that's either incomplete or
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incorrect. >> and in terms of the immediate intel from the white house following september's u.s. consulate attack in benghazi which we've been talking about, that was wrong, and we know this now, so why was there such a rush to get any information out as opposed to maybe waiting, finalizing that information or even for the full investigation instead of going with these unclassified talking points? >> randi, i think you're asking the same question that many americans are asking. why was it necessary to put a story out that turned out to be untrue rather than simply saying, like you see at every crime scene when the police spokesman stands up, that says we don't know what happened. we're investigating the situation. as soon as the information is known, we'll let you know. i've been a former spokesman before, and i used -- had to use that line quite a bit of time because i wasn't certain of the facts, and i think it's more important to the credibility of the spokesman and quite frankly the credibility of the organization that you represent, that you wait until you get the
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facts in a pretty convincing way before you go out and put it out to everybody. >> yeah. you think they should have said we don't know, it's that simple. >> would we be having this discussion today had they said that? >> certainly not all the hearings as well as a result of that. but the first e-mail announcing the attack in benghazi came in at 4:05 p.m. eastern time, about a half hour after that attack started, and the political spin really started just hours later, so is it fair for the public and the media, do you think, to want answers in realtime or as close to that as possible? >> well, i would ask the question differently. is it fair to four dead americans that we were putting out a story to meet a deadline rather than sobering reflecting on what happened on the ground before we make those pronouncements to the american people? >> thank you so much, general mark kimmitt for your team, appreciate that. >> thank you. as many recover from superstorm sandy, some are looking ahead to better prepare
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for the storms of the future. gary tuchman takes a look at a vehicle designed to take over during natural disasters >> reporter: flooded streets and destruction in the aftermath-of-sandy left many people stranded and many streets in new york and new jersey impassable. natural disasters like this are the inspiration behind a new vehicle designed to handle it all. >> the amphibious responder is a purpose-built search and rescue vehicle. >> it's meant to go in and just anywhere there's a storm, anywhere there's a flood. >> reporter: the first responder vehicle has a unique mix of fire truck and boat. >> this is designed to go right into the worst of the conditions, go right into when the hurricane is putting out wind and debris. >> reporter: mike and his wife jill make a living building and
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designing amphibious vehicles but the first responder is a first for john. >> there's always a need to get to flood victims. i've always wanted to be able to help people. i think this is a great way to do it >> reporter: government of thailand is purchasing this vehicle for its own storm preparation after flooding in bangkok last week. john hopes this vehicle can play a part the next time a storm like sandy or katrina hits. >> we can go where nobody else can go. give the guys a bunch of fuel, turn them loose and let them go save some people. having you ship my gifts couldn't be easier. well, having a ton of locations doesn't hurt. and my daughter loves the santa. oh, ah sir. that is a customer. let's not tell mom. [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. fedex office. olaf's pizza palace gets the most rewards of any small business credit card! pizza!!!!!
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keeping up to date on the escalating violence between hamas and israel. cnn has the story covered. you're looking at israeli and hamas television networks here in the region. our assignment editors are monitoring those feeds. we also have reporters covering all sides in israel and gaza and all along the border. dozens of people in gaza have been killed by israeli air strikes this week. the intent of the strikes is to target rocket-launching operations, but in crowded neighborhoods innocent civilians are being caught in the crossfire. cnn's senior international correspondent sara sidner has more, but do i want to warn you some of the images are disturbing. >> reporter: a scene no parent should ever have to endure playing out in front of our camera at this hospital. 44-year-old mahmoud lies dead in the arms of a neighbor, another child the victim of an air
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strike. we went to the neighborhood where he lived and met his aunt. i was in the house over here and when i heard the boom i went running out. i went out screaming and hollering, a terrible scene, such a scary scene, she says. this is where little mahmoud's family lives and to give you some idea of what this family went through and what he endured all you have to do is look at damage to the home. he was playing just downstairs when the bomb fell. while there were plenty of hamas flags flying in this neighborhood, five hours after the attack we saw no evidence here of military activity, though it was impossible to look in every building. we did find mahmoud's father mourning his son. he was very sweet. he was intelligent. i liked everything about mahmoud, he said. as he speaks, another plane flies overhead delivering another air strike. all right. we're having to leave this area now because there are air strikes. we can heart planes, and we're also seeing rockets coming from
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a neighborhood just on the other side. from inside gaza city it was also possible to see the vapor trails of the rocket launched from inside gaza towards israel. at the hospital mahmoud quickly became a symbol of the war in gaza when the visiting prime minister of egypt and the hamas prime minister touched the dead child. >> translator: i was here, and i saw the child who was martyred. >> translator: the blood son both of our hands, ours and on the egyptian hands. >> reporter: we watched more children being brought into the hospital. the doctors say several have died, including a child burned to death. >> as a doctor, as a human, i am crying. i can't do anything for him because i know he's died now, you know. and you can't imagine if it's your baby how you feel.
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why? why? >> reporter: influx of casualties, men, women and children, is overwhelming this hospital underlying how this war is not just between soldiers. civilians on both sides of the border are enduring the grinding pain of loss. that was sara sidner reporting. israeli civilians are also getting caught in the crossfire. our frederik pleitgen reports several rockets fired from gaza caused injuries in southern israel this morning. we'll take you live to that region next hour. 400 bullets, two assault rifles and a ticket to "twilight." why police believe this man was planning another massacre just like the one in aurora, colorado. ♪
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. bottom of the hour now. welcome back. i'm randi kaye. victor blackwell is on assignment. thanks so much for starting your morning with us. here are some stories we're watching this morning. a few moments ago president obama departed for his first overseas trip since winning re-election. he'll spend three days in thailand, myanmar and cambodia where he'll attend an asian summit. he'll also meet leaders from japan and china. his stop in myanmar will be a first as a u.s. president. in missouri police arrest a man planning an aurora-style shooting in the premiere of "twilight." the suspect is 20-year-old blake lammers. police were tipped off by his mom. he purchased two assault rifles, 400 rounds of ammunition and was off his medication, and says
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that he was also thinking about shooting people in walmart. in aurora, colorado, details finalized for dividing up the $5 million in donations to the theater shootings. families of the 12 people killed and five people who suffered permanent brain damage or paralysis will get $220,000 each. six people who spent at least 20 days in the hospital will get $160,000 each and 13 others who spent lace time hospitalized will get $35,000 each. the coast guard is searching for two missing crew members from an oil platform in the gulf of mexico. an explosion ripped through the oil platform yesterday. at least 11 people were injured. the platform is about 20 miles from louisiana. only about 30 gallons of fuel spilled into the gulf. one of the most iconic brands in america is calling it quits. hostess blames a labor dispute for the decision. bakers have been on strike to protest a new contract.
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yesterday, hostess said it will ask a federal bankruptcy court for permission to shut down all 33 of its bakeries. twinkies and wonder bread are just two of the company's well-known products. after the announcement some scooped up twinkies to sell them, believe it or not, on ebay. only 45 days until the fiscal cliff deadline. $7 trillion in automatic tax increases and spending cuts could be triggered in january if congress cannot reach a deal. president obama met with bipartisan congressional leaders at the white house on friday in hopes of reaching a compromise. the main sticking point has been over increasing taxes on the wealthy versus closing loopholes and limiting deductions to raise revenue. congressional leaders from both sides emerged from the meeting optimistic. listen. >> we had a very constructive meeting with the president to talk about america's fiscal problem. >> we all know something has to be done. >> it was good. i feel confident that a solution
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may be in sight. >> we're prepared to put revenue on the table, provided we fix the real problem. >> so will they make the deadline? that's the question. joining me now is trish regan, host of bloomberg tv's "street smarts." trish, good morning. >> good morning, randi. >> what's the likelihood of not reaching a compromise in time? >> the market changes from minute to minute. investors will feel optimistic and suddenly the market moves higher and then they get pessimistic. you can see how the market reacted just yesterday when you saw nancy pelosi out there. you saw john boehner out there saying we are hopeful we can get a deal done, and the market had a positive reaction to that, yet it lost that upside throughout the day. teetered back and forth between positive and negative territory, finally close the day out positive, so perhaps that suggests that maybe we are a little bit closer, but here's the thing, randi.
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they have got to get something done. >> yeah. >> they have got to solve this issue because if not the consequences are severe. >> you know, you listen to some people and they suggest that fears of falling off the cliff are overblown. i mean, what are the real consequences here? >> the real consequences are another recession. i can tell you every ceo that i'm talking to right now says i'm not making major decisions. i'm waiting. i'm standing by the sidelines. i can't hire a lot of people. i can't invest in a lot of infrastructure because i don't know what the landscape is going to be in the next 45 days. i don't know what the landscape is going to be in the next three months, so there's a lot of holdup. now, eventually, once they solve all this. hopefully we see some pent-up demand and that helps spur the economy forward, but in the meantime, rand irk, the damage that is being done to the economy by these companies not hiring, by these companies not investing in new projects, can
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be quite severe. >> everything is on hold, it seems, but what about the republican strategy? mean, does that strategy of avoiding increased taxes on the wealthy while closing tax loopholes and deductions help economic growth, as the republicans are claiming? >> well, that's a big economic debate that we love to have, of course. a lot of questions as to whether or not higher taxes on the wealthy would in fact result in economic growth. i think on the fiscal conservative side the argument could be, well, these are the people, one, paying the most percentage-wise in taxes, and these are also the people are -- rather, i shouldn't say perce percentage-wise, the most dollar-wise that is paying the most in taxes and the people doing the most spending and thus if you want to keep all that spending going you would keep them in a lower tax bracket, and then the flip side, of course, is the people really feeling the pain are the people that are struggling and living paycheck
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to paycheck. they are paying effectively a larger portion of the burden, so it is, in fact, a big economic debate which has become, randi, very much a political debate, of course. >> no question about that, but critics, there are those critics who say that the middle class would certainly be hurt the most, and since the president has emphasized helping this group, do you see him caving in on the sticking point of not taxing the wealthy? >> i don't foresee him caving in on that one. he won the election so he can point to the republicans and say, look, this is what americans want. >> right. >> he does have the upper hand here in the sense that he was just elected to four more years, so from a negotiating standpoint that's something that will really probably aid him, but, you know, i think that the republicans are going to have to come to the table. the democrats are going to have to come to the table. we have seen such tremendous gridlock in washington over the
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last four years, and the reality is this is this president's legacy. he's got four more years, a lot of big issues when it comes to the economy on the table. this obviously being the most pressing one. he's incentivized to get a deal done and the republicans are certainly incentivized to get a deal done because nobody wants to see this economy slide into recession because washington can't figure it out. >> that's certainly true. at least both sides are talking, and, hey, you know what? maybe we'll see a compromise. trish regan, thank you so much. >> you bet, randi. >> enjoy your day. a huge victory for minority students in michigan. a federal appeals court strikes down a ban against affirmative action for college admissions, but is that the last word on this heated issue? we'll have a live discussion about it next. . [ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil doesn't unstuff your nose. what? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus liquid gels speeds relief to your worst cold symptoms plus has a decongestant for your stuffy nose. thanks. that's the cold truth!
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welcome back. 40 minutes past the hour now. a federal appeals court has struck down michigan's ban on affirmative action. the ruling is the lastest development in the six-year long battle over whether race and gender should be considered in college admission. let's bring in cnn legal contribut contributor to talk about this. >> good morning. >> the state of michigan has said it will appeal. what's the next at the, the u.s. supreme court perhaps? >> oh, yes, most definitely the u.s. supreme court. this is big for minorities. a cause in front of the supreme court right now and there's a lot of speculation that affirmative action and race consideration in college admissions might be struck down, but here a lower federal court has said that constitutional amendment that was adopted in michigan saying you can't consider race in college admissions is unconstitutional, that it's in fact
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discriminatory, so this is a big win for people who favor race consideration in college admissions to create diverse student bodies. >> before michigan voters approved the ban the u.s. supreme court ruled in 2003 that michigan universities can use race as a factor in choosing which stunts to admit but can't make race the determination factor in accepting students, so does this give us, you think, any insight on a possible future ruling? >> it's -- it's interesting that, you know, this whole thing started in michigan back in 2003, and sandra day o'connor, who really was the swing vote on the supreme court, wrote a fascinating decision. she said, you know, i hate approving race consideration, but we need more minorities, and hopefully we won't need this rule in the future. well, apparently in michigan, you know, the claim is minorities are still underrepresented, and so the court -- now the federal court has said it's still proper to
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consider race. opponents have said this is absolutely unconstitutional. it's unfair to caucasian students who get better test scores and better grades who are being denied seats in college. another court in california, by the way, the ninth district, ruled the opposite way, so what happens usually is it goes to the supreme court, and we're going to do a monumental ruling from the supreme court on this question i think in the very near future. >> yeah t.sound like it. michigan's attorney general says the ruling may take a while though to go into effect, if ever. so what does this mean then for minorities seeking admission to michigan universities now and those who sued actually to overturn the ban? >> well, ironically people have the courage to bring these lawsuits and get the whole ball rolling, rarely see the benefit of it, because by the time it winds through the court. four years is up or three years if it's law school so you wouldn't -- you'd be out of law school now because the person who brings the suit goes to another law school so they won't see the benefit of it, the
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person who actually brings the suit, but other students throughout the united states, of course, will be affected, and they will have an enormous effect on social policies in the united states. >> what effect do you think the supreme court's next ruling could have on other states facing similar affirmative action cases? >> the case in front of the court now is the fisher case which arose, by the way, out of the original michigan case. as i said, this started in michigan. >> right. >> so texas came up with a rather clever plan. they said, well, all right, we can't consider race in at hitting people, so here's what we're going to do. top 10% of all students in texas, high school students get to go to the university of texas, and because many of those high schools are in minority areas, that would ought mottly mean large numbers of minorities in the university of texas, so that's what they did, and it seems to be working in texas, but texas wants more minorities than the 10% plan, and so that's why even texas is facing a lawsuit in this area, so the
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texas case is going to be decided now by the supreme court. a lot of people think because there are a lot more conservatives on the court now appointed by the bush administration, affirmative action and race consideration may in fact be thrown out in this coming decision, and we may see a radically different admissions process throughout the united states. >> it is fascinating to watch this all unfold, and we're glad we have you on it. paul callan, thank you. >> always nice being with you, randi. >> you, too. every 19 minutes someone dies of an accidental drug overdose. we're not talking illegal drugs. these are perfectly legal prescription drugs. dr. sanjay gupta tells us why after this. and i honestly didn't think i would ever quit. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix is proven to help people quit smoking. it reduces the urge to smoke. it put me at ease that you could smoke on the first week. [ male announcer ] some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these
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can i still ship a gift in time for christmas? yeah, sure you can. great. where's your gift? uh... whew. [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. ship fedex express by december 22nd for christmas delivery. anyone have occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating? yeah. one phillips' colon health probiotic cap each day helps defend against these digestive issues with three strains of good bacteria. approved! [ female announcer ] live the regular life. phillips'. every 19 minutes, someone dies of an accidental drug overdose, and what might surprise you is those drugs are perfectly legal, and the people using them come from all walks of life. in fact, prescription drugs now kill more people in america each year than car crashes.
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earlier i spoke with cnn chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta about the growing problem. so sanjay, what alerted you to this epidemic to begin with? >> you know, certainly seen an increase in the number of pain prescriptions being given out, but president clinton, former president clinton, had called me to talk about this. he had had a -- he was pretty distraught when he called, randi. he had had two friends who both lost sons within a few days of each other because of accidental prescription overdose deaths. i mean, it was really tragic, and he started talking about the numbers and how big a problem this was, and we started doing our own homework. i talked to the president specifically about some of these issues and here's what he said. may be a statistic you know, but i was surprised by t.80% of the world ea world's pain prescriptions are in this country, 80%. does that surprise you? >> no, because -- >> is that a cultural problem? >> yes, it is cultural. you know, people think oh, i've got a headache or i've got this,
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my elbow is sore or whatever. look, i don't want to minimize there are a lot of people who live courageous lives in constant pain. they are in pain all the time for reasons they can't control. they need relief and they should get it, but there's no question that since we represent 5% of the world's people and far less than 80% of the world's people with above average incomes we've got no business popping as many pills as we do. >> just to give you a little bit more context in that, randi. every year we prescribe enough pain pills to give every man, woman and child a dose every four hours for three weeks. >> yeah, and to the president's point, sanjay, there are people who have legitimate issues with pain and take medications and aren't addicted. are those people at risk, too? >> absolutely they are at risk. we pay more attention about this when we hear about people who are celebrities or have known
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addictions. the vast majority of people, the common scenario as somebody put it to me is somebody who has never taken pain pills really, no narcotics in their lives, 40s and 50s, usually a male, back problem, back sprain or lower back pain, and they get their first prescription for narcotics. that's the beginning of it usually, and on average, randi, on average that's the person that dies. oftentimes they are called naive users because they haven't developed a tolerance for these pain pills, and it's those people hit the hardest by these. >> and if you are taking a prescription pain killer, what should we know? >> the warnings need to be more emphatic. i don't want to sound dramatic. warning needs to be, look, if you misuse this, if you combine it with other things like alcohol, you could die. it happens every 19 minutes in this country, but i think the biggest thing is this isn't just a bad idea. this isn't just potentially a little unsafe. this is lethal if it's misused,
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and i think that's what people need to hear. >> sanjay, thank you so much. a really important discussion and a great topic. >> i hope it helps. thanks for having me. and don't forget sanjay's documentary "deadly dose" airs tomorrow night, sunday night, 8:00 p.m. eastern. don't miss it right here on cnn. when traveling to other cities and countries, the best way to get a real taste of the place is through the local food, right? cnn's i-report has teamed up with "travel and pleasure" magazine and created a list of 100 places to visit and your input played a critical part. here's cnn's becker anderson. >> reporter: i'm becky anderson in london, my home city, and when i want to eat like a local, i come here. >> peter lanagan was quite a character. >> a famous restauranteur. he called a few friends of his
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to invest some minand michael cain was one of them and one of his other friends was david hawkney so you had a wonderful start. >> reporter: i also know there's a right royal story to this restaurant. >> with princess margot rhett. peter langan was crawling under the table and nibbling her. >> a right royal nibble. >> reporter: pretending he was what? >> pretending he was a dog. >> oh, very nice. >> reporter: this is the sort of the thing you get on the coast in britain on a wet afternoon. yours. >> it's the first dish that peter langan put on the menu. >> reporter: why did he want to put a spinach souffle on the menu on what is this quintessentially british restaurant? >> he hated chaps.
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he wanted to be really difficult. >> reporter: doesn't get much more basic than this, fish and chips and sausage. how do you make this 2012 sort of nouveau cuisine? >> it's a classic. if i want to make it to my next birthday, i don't touch it. >> reporter: there are restaurants you can take your friends to. there are restaurants that you can take your boss to, but when it comes to getting a real taste of this city, my city, langan's in london is the only place in town. ♪
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welcome back. online secession petitions have been flying around since last week's election outcome, so much so that citizens in all 50 states have signed petitions to withdraw from the u.s. one texas petition has more than 100,000 names actually supporting it. nick valencia is here to talk about this. so what is going on? >> a little wacky, isn't it? >> states. >> all 50 states wanting to secede or having this petition to secede but it looks a lot more like it is on the surface. once you look into the numbers it's only a small fraction of the people, only in texas, 100,000 signatures, wow. >> yeah. >> less than 1% of the state though. what is interesting though and i think our audience would find interesting is that at least seven states have reached the 25,000-vote threshold. you see the states there, like texas, alabama, georgia, and what happens after 25,000 signatures is that they need a formal response from the white house.
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it is worth noting as well that there are counter petitions in play as well, randi, so people petitioning those who are petitioning to secede, if you follow that. >> yeah, i think i follow that. they take a lot of money the states that want to secede, take a lot of money from the federal government as well. how serious is this? i mean, how serious is it that some of these people want to do it? >> the texas national movement, i spoke to one of their members yesterday, think it's very serious and a possibility. over the last 100 years the united states has been straying from the u.s. constitution, that this should be a federation of sovereign states, and they feel texas can sustain itself. why, because texas is the 15th largest economy in the world, defense in play, the texas national guard, only minor things to hash out like the postal service, like social security. but it's worth noting. a lot of states, that's the irony. they get more federal funding, a lot of federal funding, sometimes more than they put into the federal government. texas last year, $211 billion in federal spending including a lot
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of military bases. >> why it's just a small fraction there. what else are other people doing to try to make this reality? >> the texas nationalist movement had several of their members run for congressional seats. they ran unsuccessfully, but they did tell us that since the news broke about their petition they have had 17,000 new members and 6 billion with a "b" hits on their website and they are hopeful and think they have a good chance. >> interesting to watch this. nick, thank you. >> thank you. >> appreciate it. "cnn's saturday morning" continues right now. >> good morning, everyone. i'm randi kaye. victor blackwell is on assignment. 9:00 on the east coast, 6:00 a.m. out west. thanks so much for starting your morning with us. we start in israel where troops are massing on the border with gaza this morning. around 30,000 troops are being moved into place. that includes armored vehicles, tanks and bulldozers. israeli officials say rocket
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attacks from gaza are the reason they may launch a ground invasion. israel has launched dozens of air strikes over the past few daysi ta days, taking out government buildings in an attempt to target the rocket launchers. cnn international correspondent sara sidner is in gasa city. sara, have the launching of the air strikes slowed the rockets from gaza? >> reporter: i don't think so. in the morning we see the telltale signs of the rockets being fired, the sky chris crossed with smoke. seen a lot of air strike, sounds of cars going very fast down the road. very few people out in the streets today, but we have seen rockets still going over to israel as well as many, many air strikes that have rained down on this city. we're in gaza city in the middle of gaza city, and last night we saw a massive explosion.
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my photographer, dan morgan, was standing there. he happened to be rolling live, and what he saw was a blast and then a ball of fire. when we were looking out as to where that was, it was very, very dark, but then realize that had turned out to be the hamas police headquarters. half of that building this morning you can see is destroyed. 's all rubble, smoking. the other half is still standing, but certainly nobody inside right now. we know that israel managed to hit another hamas headquarters as well, knocking that building down. this has been a day filled with the sounds of blasts and booms and rockets going into israel. randi? >> it was 2008-2009, right, the last time there were troops on the ground in gaza? >> reporter: that's right. it was called operation cast led. israel came in here after a similar scene. rockets coming over into israel. at least people in israel have been killed and several people
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injured, including sold errs. now the soldiers are amassing on the border. the concern here is mostly hearing from civilians who are worried about that will mean because during the operation cast led hundreds of people were killed, that including militants here but also civilians. civilians are also paying a heavy price for this. we know there are at least 250 people who have been injured and 42 people now, according to the health ministry, have been killed since this new battle with israel began. >> and how tense is it there, sarah? we saw a story from you earlier this morning where you actually had to leave the area where you had met with a man who had lost his son in one of these attacks. what is the feeling there on the street? >> reporter: it's eerie, to be honest. this is one of the most densely populated cities in the entire world. we're talking about 1.6 million, 1.7 million people all crammed together on a small strip on the
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mediterranean. normally you see a lot of people on the streets, cars on the streets. it's a bustling place, and it's eerily quiet in the streets generally. you don't see many people out. maybe one or two stores that are open, but they are half shuttered. the rest of them are shuttered. people staying inside worried about their children and worried that they might be in the wrong place at the wrong time. >> such a difficult time now. sara sidner, appreciate it. thank you very much. coming up later this hour i'll speak with the deputy foreign minister and a member of the palestinian government in gaza to get their take on this conflict. back here at home, the federal government faces one of its greatest challenges. unless the runaway deficit is brought under control a series of draconian measures kick in on january 1st, the so-called fiscal cliff. already the white house and leaders are trying to hammer out an agreement. paul steinhauser breaks it down for us.
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>> reporter: the clock is ticking on a deal preventing the fiscal cliff. >> we have some urgent business to do. >> reporter: the president as he said down at the white house on friday with top congressional leaders from both parties. and americans agree. more than 8 in 10 questioned in a "usa today"/gallup poll say it's extremely or very important for the president and congress to reach a deal. >> our challenge is to make sure that, you know, we are able to cooperate together. >> i believe that we can do this and avert the fiscal cliff that's right in front of us today. >> reporter: and that's what most people want. nearly 7 in 10 say democrats and republicans should both equally compromise to prevent massive spending cuts and tax hikes from starting to kick in at the beginning of the year. so what do they want in any deal? well, 45% say it should be about half spending cuts and half tax increases with 4 in 10 saying it should be mostly or only spending cuts, and according to exit polls from election night,
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nearly half of voters said raising taxes on the wealthiest americans was okay. taxes may be the biggest sticking point in reaching a deal. >> what i'm not going to do is to extend bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% that we can't afford and according to economists will have the least positive impact on our economy. >> we're in the dilemma we're in not because we tax too little but because we spend too much. >> reporter: and that maybe why half those questioned in a pew poll say congress will fail to hammer out an agreement. and if that's the case, who gets the blame? fingers will be pointed at the republican congress, and one-third saying the president. >> right now president obama is on his way to asia. he departed from joint base andrews last hour and is scheduled to land in thailand
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overnight. he'll also visit myanmar and cambodia where he'll attend an asian summit. his stop in myanmar, formerly known as burra, by the way, a first for a u.s. president. ikea said some of its furniture was made by political prisoners during the 1980s. the furniture was made by a supplier in the formest communist country of east germany and they said the company knew some political prisoners were being used and ikea says it deeply regret it happens and reiterates the use of political prisoners has never been acceptable. a brand of children's tents have been branded as a possible suffocation hazard. the peapod comes with a built-in air mattress. one infant is suspected of being suffocated. nine other reports of children trapped under the mattresses. parents are urged to stop using these and contact kidco, inc in illinois. why is israel risking an
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all-out war in the middle east? israeli's deputy foreign minister joins me next. if you are one of the millions of men who have used androgel 1%, there's big news. presenting androgel 1.62%. both are used to treat men with low testosterone. androgel 1.62% is from the makers of the number one prescribed testosterone replacement therapy. it raises your testosterone levels, and... is concentrated, so you could use less gel. and with androgel 1.62%, you can save on your monthly prescription.
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. one day after rockets hit near israel's two most crowded cities, palestinians have fired more rockets at israel. israeli tanks is taking up positions near the border with gaza and air strikes have taken
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out headquarters and other palestinian buildings. there's growing fears the escalating showdown will turn into an all-out war in the middle east. i want to bring in the israeli deputy foreign minister from new york. thank you so much for joining us, sir. you have said israel is, quote, a reluctant warrior in this battle, so what prompted these air strikes by israel? >> well, absolutely, randy. we do not like to get into gaza. we do not like to escalate or engage ourselves with any warfare, not with the gazans, not with anyone else, but after millions of our citizens have been under fire for so long, and just think, randi, that people cannot go to work. they cannot send their children to school or kindergartens. they cannot go to restaurants. they all have to be confined in shelters with all the devastation for also the psychological warfare of kids. this is unacceptable, and i
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don't think any country would have accepted terrorizing millions of their citizens, and here hamas is committing a double crime against humanity. first they target only civilian population and at the same time they embed themselves in and among populated areas in gaza so they use the gazans as human shield which makes it much tougher for us because we are trying to avoid any collateral damage, so this is why it takes so long. we still would not like to get with ground troops to gaza, but the only way to do it is for hamas to stop firing at us. >> but on the flip side of that, of course, hamas says that their people are being targeted as well. they are losing their children. pregnant wick are being hit. israeli troops we see massing near the gaza border. 75,000 reservists have been called up. how likely do you think a ground invasion is? i mean, what exactly would it
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take to trigger it? >> well, randi, i believe it all believes in the next 24 hours or so if we'll see peace and quiet from hamas. stop the firing at us. i think we can still avoid it, and we do not like to see any gazans, innocent people being hurt, but as i mentioned, you know, hamas fire their missiles at our population from tops of buildings, apartment buildings, mosques, hospitals, schools. it's just very, very outrageous. now, to add insult to injury, five or seven years ago we have given gaza all together, to the last inch, to the palestinians, in hopes that it will change their attitudes towards reconciliation and peace and co-existence, but it emboldened the terrorists of hamas and the palestinians, and they used this territory that we gave them as platform to keep attack is us.
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>> are you looking for any action or any specific response when it comes to this from the u.s. or other nations? >> well, we are very grateful to the administration, to the american people for the solidarity, for the support, for understanding that what we do is exercising our right for self-defense. we would like more in the international community to put the pressure not only on hamas which is a terror organization but especially on iran which keeps supplying the hamas with longer range missiles, more accurate, and they are the ones actually responsible for this latest escalation. >> now, israel has parliamentary elections scheduled for january. is there any political calculation here to the timing of the israeli government's military action in gaza? >> well, not from our part, and we have just been responding to the escalation, the hamas
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organization started two, two and a half weeks ago. so far all electioneering and election campaign has stopped, and all the israeli parties and israeli people are gathering together in solidarity behind our people and our government. >> let me ask you about the peace treaty between egypt and israel because egypt's president has condemned what he calls aggression by israel in gaza. are you at all concerned that this treaty could be in danger? >> i don't think this treaty will be in danger because it's not within the interest of anyone, least of all the egyptians. of course we're very concerned and disappointed that the response from egypt, they should know that the hamas triggered all this terror and the hamas organization is not just threatening israel. it's also threatening security and peace in egypt and the egyptian territory. we have to remember just about two months ago in the high
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holiday of ramadan, the muslim holiday, terrorists murdered cold blooded 16 egyptian soldiers so the terror from hamas in gaza easily spills over into sinai. >> the israeli deputy foreign minister danny ayalon, take a look at your screen. these are live pictures, by the way, that you're looking at. an explosion in gaza city just after 4:00 in the afternoon there. we've been speaking to our sara sidner in gaza. she was telling us earlier that hamas police headquarters had been hit and showing us the damage there. she said the explosions continue. the streets are pretty well deserted except for a few cars here and there. certainly drones in the sky as well. the death toll, she told us, was up to about 39 in gaza, so once again here you can see smoke filling the air in gaza city just after 4:00 in the afternoon. some live pictures we'll keep an
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eye on for you. next up, the other side of the story from a member of the palestinian legislative council. i have a cold... i took dayquil, but i still have a runny nose. [ male announcer ] dayquil doesn't treat that. huh? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus rushes relief to all your worst cold symptoms, plus it relieves your runny nose. [ sighs ] thank you! [ male announcer ] you're welcome. that's the cold truth! can your moisturizer do that? [ female announcer ] dermatologist recommended aveeno has an oat formula, now proven to build a moisture reserve, so skin can replenish itself.
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let's get back now to the growing conflict between israel and hamas in gaza. take a look at your screen there. that's a live picture from gaza city. you can see in the distance there, some smoke from a recent explosion that we just saw here watching these live pictures on cnn. the death toll in gaza now 39, according to our sara sidner as people are running for cover there. the streets are deserted. the police headquarters was hit in gaza this morning, so we'll
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continue to take about this this morning and follow this story. before the break, i talked with israel's deputy foreign minister. he basically said that there is a 24-hour window before the launch of a ground offensive. that is one day for hamas to stop firing rockets into israel. joining me now on the phone from gaza is abdullah abdullah, a member of the palestinian legislative council. what is your reaction to what was basically a warning, sir? >> well, i think israel has made a great mistake, and the other is the united states of america in supporting the israeli aggression on the palestinians. there's a deep fear because of reaction. they know they are provoking the palestinian side in gaza to return the fire after they assassinated several palestinians, the last of which
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was ahmed al jabbari, the known leader of the resistance movement, and all the calls for truce, for cease-fire, for working towards achieving a solution, peaceful solution, were ignored by the israelis and were as well disregarded by the american administration. therefore, if we really want to have real progress towards ending this violence today and tomorrow and forever, then peace is the order of the day, and the united states of america must be pressing israel and taking a courageous stand in pushing for a peaceful solution based on the road map that the united states itself has drafted five years ago. >> given a sense, sir, we know that there are israeli troops gathering on the border. >> yes. >> give us a sense of what a ground war would mean to those
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in gaza. >> listen, gaza is 60 somair kilometers. the israelis are 60,000 troops for their armors, with their tanks and with their air force and the sea force as well. gaza can be destroyed by the israeli military power, that israel cannot have peace by destroying gaza. it only deepens the rift between t us and the future of israel will be in doubt, and, therefore, israel must push israel to come to its senses and follow the advice of former secretary of state kissinger who said if the policies of netanyahu continue
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to lead israel, in 30 years there will be no israel. that is what the united states and all friends of israel should take into account and follow the work of our president, mr. mahmoud abbas, who is working hard to achieve a peaceful solution to the conflict, but, unfortunately, all his efforts were disregarded by the americans and it took from the statements of susan rice of the u.n. or victoria w nuland at the state department. >> sir, thank you very much. i understand how passionate you are about this, both sides, certainly a lot of passion. meanwhile we talk about peace, and here we see it in gaza city, another explosion and more smoke in the air surrounding gaza city, so certainly no -- no
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progress being made in terms of stopping the firing of rockets here on either side. president obama met with some members of the u.s. olympics gymnastics team this week and just look at his face. you can tell he is not impressed. to the gas stationy going about once a month. last time i was at a gas station was about...i would say... two months ago. i very rarely put gas in my chevy volt. i go to the gas station such a small amount that i forget how to put gas in my car. [ male announcer ] and it's not just these owners giving the volt high praise. volt received the j.d. power and associates appeal award two years in a row. ♪ can i still ship a gift in time for christmas? yeah, sure you can. great. where's your gift? uh... whew. [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. ship fedex express by december 22nd for christmas delivery.
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at meineke i have options... like oil changes starting at $19.95. my money. my choice. my meineke. escalating violence in the middle east dominating our news this morning. we have live pictures here, more live pictures from gaza city. that was a beautiful picture of the sun coming up, but certainly the rocket fire continues. we've been watching large explosions there taking place in gaza city in the last few minutes here. can you see the smoke in the ski. we know there are 39 dead. the hamas police headquarters has been hit as well. cnn correspondents are in the thick of it. our sara sidner is right in gaza. we also have folks on the ground in israel and all along the border. you can join us at the